The Dark Web – A Full Guide
Cyber security has rapidly risen to the very top of business concerns in the modern age – it should arguably take top priority over even the physical security of our organisations. Your business is more than likely going to be targeted at some point – regardless of its size. For all the advantages that tech – and our growing reliance on it – has brought to our lives, some negatives have arisen alongside it too. The short story is that the more web connected devices you have then the more likely you are to become the victim of a cyber attack.
It is entirely our fault that we are vulnerable to attacks. We must educate ourselves on best practice when working online, we must know the different forms of cyber threats and grow a familiarity with the various cyber security measures that can be implemented to prepare your system for a sophisticated cyber attack. Learning as much as possible about them is the best way to combat the possible damage caused and remain safe.
Cyber attacks are predominantly performed in order to gain unauthorised access to a system with the intention of stealing and/or distributing the sensitive data found on the Dark Web. The Dark Web is now quite a familiar place and term compared to what it once was, but, for those that aren’t familiar, it is a marketplace designed for the selling of illegal goods and/or services.
How does my data end up on the Dark Web?
The Dark Web
The Dark Web is a place for criminals to buy, sell, and advertise illegal goods and services anonymously. The Dark Web is not run out of someone’s basement by a group of teenagers; it is a worldwide marketplace of – in some cases – extremely dangerous activity. If your data is for sale on there, the consequences could be disastrous for your business.
The ways your data may end up on the Dark Web
Ransomware is software that is designed to be malicious. It works by locking and encrypting your data. The cyber criminal then holds your system to ransom, demanding money before you regain access.
Ransomware attacks are the most frustrating of all types of cyber attacks – imagine seeing the data present on your system but having no way of accessing it. It’s like being locked out of the house and seeing your keys on the table through the window – they are within your grasp but just unattainable.
The cyber criminal distils a sense of urgency in the target, they threaten the target with deletion or the release of the data onto the marketplace of the Dark Web if you don’t play ball and pay when told. Some – understandably – believe these threats and promises and pay as demanded.
Business owners are often left embarrassed, having paid up but not being granted access again, or – for the lucky few that get access back – they get targeted a second time at a later date.
A Phishing attack is when a cyber criminal uses fake/fraudulent emails to gain access to confidential information only for the eyes of privileged individuals. Emails are the choice of vessel for these malicious links, and are what make the attack possible. The contents of the Email are designed to manipulate the recipient, and the attackers make it appear that it is from a reputable trusted source – both increase the likelihood of their target clicking the link, and if this doesn’t work they will add time sensitive elements too, which are sure to force the hand of the target. They click the attachment and, in the process, open the floodgates to all manner of threats.
Malware is designed with the intention of causing damage or stealing confidential data. Malware is predominantly managed by a group of cyber criminals or hackers that are looking to make money from selling the software over the Dark Web, as opposed to a solo hacker working out of his bedroom.
Hackers can intercept data that is being sent across an insecure network in what is known as ‘man in the middle’ attacks. Public Wi-Fi – as convenient as it is when you are mobile – has extremely poor levels of security, so you must be careful, because you are far more vulnerable when using it in comparison to your ‘secure’ home and work networks. There are also ‘rogue hotspots’, which involve the hacker setting up a public portal that imitates a legitimate one nearby – these hotspots can be used to distribute Malware, direct users toward malicious sites, and to listen in on web traffic. The user doesn’t even know they are on an illegitimate source.
The Right IT support for you
Our team of experts have one goal in mind; we want to bear the burden of your IT support for you. We thrive on engaging with our clients to create positive relationships centred around the shared desire to help your organisation succeed. We are here to help your business remain secure and to assist in its prolonged success and growth. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us if you are interested in seeing what we can do for you.